Young Renters Turn to Downtown Somerville for Urban-Inspired Living at Competitive Price

New Jersey’s apartment market has been inundated with urban enthusiasts seeking the excitement of thriving downtown districts where there’s easy access to popular lifestyle elements and a close proximity to mass transportation into the work centers of Manhattan.

Fueling this trend are young single professionals and couples who have traditionally focused their attention on city centers like Hoboken and Morristown which have long been known as hubs for shopping and dining and home to vibrant nightlife scenes.   The lure of these two locales has created a crowded and ultra-competitive rental market with escalating prices and high demand.  In fact, both Hoboken and Morristown rank in the top 5 of highest monthly median gross rent in the state, according to recent U.S. Census data.

These rising rents have priced many city dwellers out of these metropolises and led to a rise in popularity of alternate live/play communities where young renters can satisfy their craving for an energetic, walkable environment.  Such is the case in Somerville, N.J. where an award-winning downtown blends with attractively-priced homes in modern rental buildings to provide an affordable rental option, without sacrificing the vibe of a chic, urban-inspired lifestyle.

The quaint 2.6 square-mile Somerset County borough lies just over 40 miles from New York City and boasts all the attributes of New Jersey’s most popular pedestrian-friendly destinations –an abundance of downtown retail, services and business, an offering of amazing restaurants, nightlife and entertainment and a transit-oriented emphasis.

Downtown Somerville has been named one of the state’s “Great Places” by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association and was a 2018 recipient of a NJ Future Smart Growth Award for its efforts to create a welcoming and walkable retail and residential district.  The bustling tree-lined district draws thousands of visitors each year to delight in its local shops, boutiques, art galleries, fine dining, and signature events hosted by the Downtown Somerville Association.   There’s also major national retailers and brand name stores less than ten minutes away at the Bridgewater Commons Shopping Mall.

New Jersey Transit’s Somerville Station with service into Newark Penn Station and New York City brings all the business, cultural and entertainment delights of Manhattan and northern New Jersey within easy reach.  New Jersey Transit buses are available with service to local destinations.  Making Somerville even more connectable is a proximity to a network of highways that includes Routes 287, 78, 22, 206 and 208.

The growing desirability of Somerville has prompted the introduction of contemporary and stylish new apartment buildings near its downtown district.  Its most recent addition is SOMA, a 69-unit rental building located at 110 South Bridge Street and just a short walk from the bustling Division Street Plaza and Main Street Corridor.  Developed by Livingston, NJ-based Sterling Properties, SOMA has been fast to report high leasing SOMA Exteriorvelocity since its mid-January debut – a testament to the widespread appeal of downtown Somerville.  Over 50% of the residences have been leased within weeks of opening.

“Somerville has everything a single professional or young family that’s looking for an upscale urban-like living might desire at a price that’s well within their budget,” says Nick Hollenbeck, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sterling Properties.

“It has spirit of a cosmopolitan city, with the charm and kindness of small town America highlighted by an amazing selection of dining and retail options on Main Street.  It also has a fantastic location with rail access to New York City and equally great highway access to 287, 78 and 206 making a commute to suburban office complexes in New Brunswick, Princeton or Parsippany within reach.  All at monthly rents that are much less expensive than its established counterparts.  And to a young person just starting their career Somerville offers the comparable lifestyle to Hoboken or Morristown but leaves them with some disposable income to actually enjoy it!”

SOMA offers a mix of one- and two-bedroom homes priced from $1,750 to $2,700.  Homes range from 780 to 1,290 square feet of space and feature tall ceilings, washer/dryer in every unit, stainless steel appliances and designer finishes. Apartments are available with Immediate Occupancy.

Designed by Comito Associates, the four-story building blends seamlessly with the architectural landscape of downtown Somerville.  SOMA has been built to meet LEED Gold standards from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which will not only reduce the building’s carbon footprint and minimize its impact on the environment, but also provide residents significant savings by lowering monthly energy bills and more.

“As part of our LEED efforts, we’ve instituted a bike share program our residents will be sure to appreciate,” Mr. Hollenbeck says.  “Rather than getting in a car, they will have access to bikes which will allow them to pedal downtown, save on emissions and also shop locally.”

SOMA also offers a state-of-the-art fitness studio and tech lounge.  Interior Design firm Mary Cook Associates designed the project’s unit interiors and common space.

For additional information on SOMA, please visit or call 908-575-9900.  The building’s leasing office is open Monday, Thursday-Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday 11-4.  The building is open appointment only Tuesday & Wednesday.  Decorated model homes are available to tour.

About Sterling Properties

Sterling Properties is widely recognized as a multi-faceted development organization with a wide range of upscale real estate including residential, office and commercial communities throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. For additional information on the company, please visit or call (973) 535-1888.





Patience Pays Off for Former Union County Family Looking to Enjoy Jersey Shore Living at East Gate in Monmouth County

The old saying “patience is a virtue” certainly held true for Jill and Chris Curran when looking for the perfect Jersey Shore home to enjoy their empty-nest years.  The former Clark residents had decided to downsize over two years ago with both a son and daughter attending college.  They sold their Union County house and moved into a rental where they could bide their time as they thoughtfully searched for a residence in Monmouth County that fit all their requirements.

“I lived in Clark my entire life and my husband moved there from Long Island after college,” Mrs. Curran said.  “We always loved Monmouth County and have lots of family and friends here.  We knew that once our children were finished with school that we would move to the area.

We ended up selling our home during my son’s junior year of high school and rented in Clark so that we would have the flexibility to purchase something down the shore if the opportunity presented itself.”

Curran PhotoFor two-plus years the Curran’s visited a variety of home types, including single-family residences and townhomes, throughout eastern Monmouth County.   They considered communities such as Elk Ridge in Red Bank and Marina Bay in Long Branch, along with homes in Oceanport.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any that met our criteria and many came with unwanted worries — whether it was high taxes and maintenance fees, concerns over flood waters or the amount of work needed to update the home,” Mrs. Curran pointed out.

That’s when the couple took the advice of their Monmouth County friends and family who suggested they visit East Gate, a unique collection of 68 residences developed by RPM Development Group on the 1,226-acre former Fort Monmouth Army post in Oceanport, N.J.    The Curran’s immediately fell in love with the opportunity to reside in the Jersey Shore’s most notable and newest live/play center.

“As soon as we came to East Gate we knew this was going to be our new home!” exclaimed Mrs. Curran.  “There were so many elements we loved.  The property is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. We were thrilled with the attention to detail and the fact that historical features were kept intact while updating the homes.  We also appreciated that we could move in and enjoy our new home without having to deal with renovation or improvement projects.  The maintenance fees and taxes were reasonable, and it’s in a great location that’s close to so much – the beach, retail, restaurants, the Oceanport Creek and the Little Silver train station.”

East Gate consists of townhomes, duplexes and single-family residences being created in century-old Officer’s Housing buildings on Fort Monmouth.  The Currans purchased a three-bedroom Oceanport townhome.

“The layout of the home played a huge role in our decision to purchase at East Gate,” Jill says.  “First of all, we love the open floorplan. I work from home and was looking for something that provided us with that little bit of extra space and the beautiful brick sunroom on the main level did just that.  We also loved that the original brick was incorporated into the homes and the window sills and doorways are wide and add so much character.

“The finishes were high quality and not just builder grade.  It was hard to choose an option for our home since they were all so beautiful. You could really tell RPM Development put their heart into this project.  The entire experience has been wonderful. Our home is beautiful and East Gate and the surrounding property is so pretty.  I feel like I’m on vacation here.”

East Gate is the first residential community to debut at historic Fort Monmouth, bringing into focus the overall vision of the former army base as a year-round lifestyle destination with amenities and services, including the nearby Marina at Oceanport, parade grounds and open space, as well as an expected bowling alley, microbrewery, walking trails and The Fort Athletic Club which is slated to open soon.

“We’re so excited to see what businesses and residences will be coming to Fort Monmouth and be a part of something that’s being redeveloped from the ground up,” Mrs.  Curran continued.   “We’re looking forward to being able to walk to different businesses once they are up and running.  There seem to be endless opportunities coming to Fort Monmouth and all are within walking distance to East Gate.  The community’s maintenance-free environment with our property landscaped and tended to, giving us much more free time to enjoy it.

“Plus, my husband is a history buff and loves the fact that Fort Monmouth once served as an army base.  Someone always has a story or a fond memory for us when we tell them we moved to the base.  So many people in the area worked here or had family or friends here when it was an army base.”

Fewer than ten homes are available in the current inventory at East Gate as buyers rush to join homeowners such as the Currans.  The remaining residences are priced from the $500,000s to the mid-$700,000s and provide some of the most desirable floorplans, including the popular three-bedroom duplex homes with 2.5 baths, spacious dining/living room, open concept kitchen, expansive master bedroom suite with lavish master bath and sitting room and bonus den.

East Gate Exterior DayEast Gate boasts eye-catching architecture and distinctive homes that offer an attractive alternative to the area’s conventional housing stock.  To create a nostalgic, yet modern living experience at the community, RPM Development has masterfully blended the original building exteriors which date back to the early 20th century with contemporary interiors boasting expansive living spaces and designer finishes and appointments.

Palermo Edwards Architecture has remodeled the buildings’ interiors to create new two- and three-story homes with luxurious kitchens and bathrooms and a high level of style and comfort. Generous floorplans feature designer elements, including hardwood flooring throughout first floors, modern kitchens with granite or quartz countertops, stainless steel Kohler fixtures and GE appliance packages; and master-bathroom suites with double vanity countertops, Moen Eva faucets and showers with built-in benches and frameless shower doors.

Oceanport is one of Monmouth County’s most desired residential settings, combining a distinctly suburban environment with award-winning schools.  The Borough also provides an incredibly commuter-friendly location with easy access to all that makes Jersey Shore living so special.

East Gate itself is situated just minutes from popular New Jersey beaches and the banks of the Shrewsbury River, and is in proximity to the entertainment, dining and culture of Red Bank and Asbury Park.

For additional information, please call 732-523-5566 or visit  The on-site sales program is being conducted by Coldwell Banker New Homes of Florham Park, NJ.  The community’s sales and model complex is located at 33 Russel Avenue, Oceanport, NJ 07757.

About RPM Development Group

Founded in 1986, RPM is one of the leading developers of high-quality homes in New Jersey. RPM brings all aspects of the development process under one roof, with expertise across all phases of construction.  We take pride in creating attractively designed and sustainably crafted homes.


Westminster Jubilee Singers: Examine Me


Sunday, November 18th at 7:30 PM at Westminster Choir College

Westminster Jubilee Singers explores the Psalter (book of Psalms) and performs settings by African American composers. The program features Psalm I by Nathan Carter, “The Lord Is My Shepherd, Alleluia” from Adolphus Hailstork’s I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, Margaret Douroux’s Day and Night Praise and works by Cedric Dent and M. Roger Holland.


Brookhaven RC 2

From Left to Right: Mr. Peter Kohut (Premier Development), Mr. Anatol Hiller (Premier Development), Mayor Gloria McCauley (Hillsborough Township), Mr. Jeffrey Hiller (Premier Development), Ms. Toni Natele (Hillsborough Township Economic Development Committee), Mr. David Kois (Hillsborough Township Business Advocate), and Mr. Andy Nowack (Premier Development) celebrate a ribbon cutting for new 6,500 square-foot clubhouse at Brookhaven Lofts.

Hillsborough Mayor Gloria McCauley Cuts Ceremonial Ribbon to Welcome Professionally-Decorated Facility at Luxury Rental Community

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – With the cut of a ceremonial ribbon, a full package of contemporary indoor and outdoor amenities were officially unveiled at Brookhaven Lofts, the luxury collection of two-bedroom apartment homes located at 233 US Highway 206 in Somerset County’s Hillsborough Township.

Developer Premier Development recently welcomed Hillsborough Mayor Gloria McCauley and other elected officials for the special ribbon cutting ceremony which celebrated the highly-anticipated Grand Opening of the community’s professionally-merchandised clubhouse and the completion of its outdoor pool complex.

Centrally-located within the neighborhood at 6 Woodruff Boulevard, the 6,500 square foot clubhouse delivers a well-equipped fitness center, modern business center and more.  Outside, the sparkling pool is joined by a tot lot, picnic area, gazebo area and sprawling recreational lawn area.  The leasing office for Brookhaven Lofts is also housed in the brand new facility.

“A hallmark of a Premier Development new home community is to provide residents a resort-like environment with premium indoor and outdoor amenities at their fingertips,” remarked Nikki Amigoni, Leasing Manager for the developer.  “That’s exactly what we’re now introducing at Brookhaven Lofts with the official opening of its clubhouse and pool.  We’re incredibly pleased Mayor McCauley and local dignitaries and business leaders we’re able to join us to mark its debut.”

Brookhaven Clubhouse 2


Brookhaven Lofts features loft-style two-bedroom apartments ranging from 1,400-1,800 sq. ft. with monthly rents starting at $2,045.    Found throughout the well-appointed floorplans are soaring 9 foot ceilings, designer kitchens with maple cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel dishwasher, refrigerator, gas range and microwave, bathrooms with cultured marble countertops,  ample closet space throughout and a separate study which can be utilized as a home office or flexible extra space.  All homes provide an outdoor balcony or patio, while select third-floor apartments offer loft bonus room and soaring cathedral ceilings.

Brookhaven Clubhouse Interior 2


All apartments at Brookhaven Lofts are Energy-star certified and feature energy-efficient appliances, features and more.

Ideally situated just off Route 206, Brookhaven Lofts provides easy access to the business, entertainment and cultural delights of central New Jersey.  The community is minutes from major highways, including Interstate 287 and 78, Route 22 and the New Jersey Turnpike.  Shopping abounds nearby in downtown Somerville and the Bridgewater Commons Mall. There’s also plenty of outdoor pursuits nearby such as the gardens and history of Dukes Farm and the Sourland Mountain Preserve.

For additional information on Brookhaven Lofts, please call 908-274-0911 or visit

About Premier Development

Premier Development is one of the leading privately-owned real estate development firms in New Jersey. The company and its principals have been building award-winning homes for over 35 years and have delivered thousands of homes in key New Jersey locations.

For additional information on Premier Development, please visit

Huggies & ShopRite Help New Jersey Combat Diaper Need

From July to October, ShopRite and Huggies donated 250,000 diapers to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, a member of the National Diaper Bank Network.  This helps the 1 in 3 families struggling with diaper need in New Jersey.

How you can help:

  • Donate leftover diapers – have leftover diapers your child outgrew? Your local diaper bank can use them! Opened packages are fine, too.
  • Volunteer at a lo200396155-003cal diaper bank – donate your time, skills, experience, education or man power to support (email to find a place to volunteer near you)
  • Host a diaper drive – every package of diapers you collect and every dollar you raise will impact needy infants and toddlers

The initiative is part of a larger donation of 500,000 diapers and $10,000 to the National Diaper Bank Network to help tackle diaper need—the struggle to provide enough clean diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy.*


East Gate Exterior Day

In one of New Jersey’s most notable and historic settings, East Gate, the first luxury residential component in the redevelopment of the 1,226-acre former Fort Monmouth Army post, is welcoming its initial homeowners.

Developer RPM Development Group has announced closings are underway at the collection of 68 townhomes, duplexes and single-family residences being created in century-old Officer’s Housing buildings.    The noteworthy milestone is the next step in the transition of East Gate into an active and lively neighborhood and brings into focus the overall vision of Fort Monmouth as a vibrant Jersey Shore live/play center with upscale homes and lifestyle amenities and services, including the nearby Marina at Oceanport, parade grounds and open space, as well as an expected bowling alley, microbrewery, walking trails and The Fort Athletic Club which slated to open soon.

“Tremendous velocity from the onset of our sales program has resulted in a near sell-out of our initial release of homes,” says Michael Hong, Assistant Vice President of Development at RPM.     “It also means we’ll have a significant wave of homeowners move-in within the first few weeks of closings.  The surge in resident activity will provide new visitors an almost immediate look at the unique living environment at East Gate and its energetic neighborhood setting.”

Fewer than ten homes are available in the current inventory at East Gate as buyers rush to join the many now preparing to call the community home.  The remaining residences are priced from the high-$400,000s to the mid-$700,000s and provide some of the most desirable floorplans, including the popular three-bedroom duplex homes with 2.5 baths, spacious dining/living room, open concept kitchen, expansive master bedroom suite with lavish master bath and sitting room and bonus den.

East Gate Duplex

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Fall Fest


Sunday, October 21st at Palmer Square

Enjoy live music by Some Assembly Required while savoring seasonal food, wine and beer on the Green.

Food and drinks are available for purchase by:
-Carter & Cavero
-Chez Alice
-Princeton Soup & Sandwich
-Olsson’s Fine Foods
-The Bent Spoon
-Teresa Caffe — visit stand on the Green!
-Thomas Sweet — visit stand on the Green!
-Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar — visit stand on the Green!
-Yankee Doodle Tap Room — visit stand on the Green!

The first 200 attendees will receive a complementary Palmer Square shopping bag filled with specials offers from around the Square and your guide to “Treats” around the square. “Treats” can be anything from a delicious snack to an in-store demonstration or promotion.

Fun for all ages!
Blankets and chairs welcome on the Green!

Time: 12:00pm- 3:00pm
Location: Palmer Square | 40 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542


When a Change of Season Calls for a Beautiful Room Refresh

jz20mwemtl2ksbwrk7ak_full_3c2a2369-819x1024Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. Every August, just like clockwork, I find myself anxiously anticipating the change in season. It prompts me to refresh my wardrobe with yummy sweaters and find new and innovative ways to redecorate my home in preparation for the chilly yet cozier months of the year.

When Sherwin-Williams shared their 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay SW 7701, Kate and I both agreed we loved the look and feel of this color tone and we jumped at the thought of doing a beautiful redesign story around it. I was drawn to the warm terracotta color because of its ancient, elemental roots and mostly by the way it made me feel. Cavern Clay is a blend of midcentury modern style and the rich and earthy American Southwest, which together create a kind of desert modern aesthetic vibe. Because I love and live in all things boho, Kate asked me to take on this makeover story, and if you know me just a little bit, you know I absolutely LOVE anything interiors related, especially if it’s bohemian. So, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Because I’m currently living in a rental unfortunately my bedroom was off limits for painting. So I quickly reached out to good friends Jenny Jorgensen and Kate Worum, the local mavens of She She, a hand-painted print and pattern design studio, to see if they were interested in receiving a little room refresh and luckily Kate Worum was all in! Kate, a local Minneapolis illustrator who recently turned 30, was looking for a fresh start and a little change of scenery in her life. We were happy to provide that to her with a fresh wall of paint in her bedroom, and we thought, why not help a girl out with a full-on room refresh! After kicking off the project I went over to her place right away and we began brainstorming how we could transform her sunny little apartment bedroom into a relaxing bohemian bungalow.

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